Slave Narrative Project

1495 words 6 pages
Slave Narrative Project

(1) The use of natural dialect can be seen throughout the slave narrative interviews through words and phrases used that were common during the period of slavery, but are not used today. One example can be seen in the dialect used by former slave Mama Duck, “Battlin stick, like dis. You doan know what a battling stick is? Well, dis here is one.” Through incomplete sentences and unknown words the natural dialect of the time can be seen. Unfamiliar words such as shin-plasters, meaning a piece of paper currency or a promissory note regarded as having little or no value. Also, geechees, used to describe a class of Negroes who spoke Gullah. Many examples can be seen throughout the “Slave Narratives”
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(4) Throughout slavery many families were split up and sold to different owners never seeing one another again or for those lucky enough were not reunited until many years after their emancipation. For the fortunate ones who were able to remain together on plantations, family life was relatively normal for the slaves as they knew it. Church was attended, men and women were married, babies born, and meals shared. Of course, many of these customs, although normal to the slaves who knew of nothing else, were considerably different from what we know today especially when it came to marriage. Today if you met someone whom interested you, dates would be had, a proposal would be made, and eventually a ceremony performed completing your transition to husband and wife. When one slave was interested in another slave, the first step was to inform the master who would have to give permission for a courtship to occur between the two. Courtship was not so difficult if the slaves were housed on the same plantation, but some slaves were owned by different masters and would have to receive permission from the masters to travel to another plantation in the evenings for courtship. Once marriage was approved between the two slaves, customs of the plantation would determine if they jumped over a broom to seal the marriage or simply live together as man and wife. Slaves


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